HPE and Industry Partners Simplify 5G Rollout

5G network reality draws closer and closer. Unlike other communication technology standards that seem to have hung up in committee, 5G has some momentum. Not say that there aren’t some political headwinds to get beyond before widespread adoption. 5G offers many very interesting applications beyond simply an LTE replacement for mobile phones. I can’t wait to see all of this in action.

IN THIS ARTICLE

  • The Open Distributed Infrastructure Management initiative is a new open source program that will simplify the management of large-scale geographically distributed physical infrastructure deployments
  • It will help resolve the complexity that telcos face in rolling out 5G networks across thousands of sites equipped with IT infrastructure from multiple vendors and different generations of technology
  • HPE will also launch the Open Distributed Infrastructure Management Resource Aggregator, a commercially supported version of the open source infrastructure manageability function
  • The Open Distributed Infrastructure Management initiative eliminates multi-vendor hardware complexity, simplifying end-to-end automation and accelerating technology evolution

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced the Open Distributed Infrastructure Management initiative, a new open source program that will simplify the management of large-scale geographically distributed physical infrastructure deployments. In addition, HPE will introduce an enterprise offering, the HPE Open Distributed Infrastructure Management Resource Aggregator that is aligned with the initiative.

Open Distributed Infrastructure Management helps resolve the complexity that telcos face in rolling out 5G networks across thousands of sites equipped with IT infrastructure from multiple vendors and different generations of technology. This new initiative underlines HPE’s continued leadership in open 5G technologies and commitment to accelerating industry alignment through open source innovation.

Working with partners, HPE’s 5G portfolio promises to unleash the potential of 5G at the network core, at the edge, and in the enterprise. This initiative is being launched in collaboration with Intel and with support from key industry leaders including AMI, Apstra, Red Hat, Tech Mahindra and World Wide Technology. HPE alongside Intel plans to initiate an open source project under the Linux Foundation to further develop the initiative in conjunction with ecosystem partners to enable end-to-end automated management of networks. HPE is committed to developing and fostering the ecosystem and supporting customers by contributing infrastructure manageability code to the open source community.

5G represents a huge shift in the way mobile networks are built. Previous generation networks were largely built on proprietary systems, but 5G standards have been designed to utilize open software platforms operating on commercial off-the-shelf servers. The trend towards open distributed technologies like virtualized radio access networks (vRAN), multi-access edge computing (MEC) and cloud-native network functions will require the deployment of industry standard compute, storage and networking infrastructure from multiple vendors across potentially thousands of geographically distributed locations. Today, most data center physical infrastructure management solutions do not scale geographically or support multi-vendor deployments, resulting in operational inefficiencies and inhibiting technology innovation.

The Open Distributed Infrastructure Management initiative simplifies network management and drives significant operational and financial benefits. It supports large scale, geographically distributed networks and facilitates interaction between disparate multi-vendor infrastructure resources. The HPE Open Distributed Infrastructure Management Resource Aggregator models infrastructure elements in every site to simplify infrastructure automation across resources, vendors and geographical locations.

HPE will launch this commercially supported version of the open source infrastructure manageability function along with associated infrastructure-specific plug-in components in Q2 2020. The HPE solution will leverage industry-defined specifications, including DMTF Redfish interfaces, to enable a vendor-neutral approach for managing configuration and operations of compute, storage and networking infrastructure resources across multiple vendors at scale.

“5G and Edge Computing industry initiatives will require large-scale and geographically distributed multi-vendor infrastructure deployments that can only be cost effectively realized with infrastructure-as-code automation,” said Claus Pedersen, VP, Telco Infrastructure Solutions at HPE. “The Open Distributed Infrastructure Management initiative tackles network scalability challenges and the costs associated with vendor lock-in by enabling multi-vendor infrastructure deployments, the centralized deployment of standards-based fault and configuration management, and the aggregation of resource-specific status information.”

“Infrastructure management and orchestration can benefit from common open source building blocks including APIs and data models,” said Dan Rodriguez, Corporate VP and GM of Intel’s Network Platforms Group. “The ODIM initiative builds upon the work we have done with HPE on top of Redfish and will ultimately help Communications Service Providers and Enterprises discover and unleash the full potential of the underlying technologies in their distributed deployments.”

“This initiative proposes new DMTF Redfish extensions that will provide a path forward for the creation of powerful new software-defined data center paradigms that enable end-to-end network automation, said IDC GVP, Ashish Nadkarni. “This open standards-based initiative offers organizations a way to converge multi-vendor hardware resources under a unified infrastructure management solution, promising to accelerate both 5G rollout and innovation across the industry.”

The HPE Open Distributed Infrastructure Management Resource Aggregator offers key innovations that will benefit other telco solutions including the recently announced HPE telco core and edge infrastructure blueprints. Delivered as-a-service with HPE GreenLake, these infrastructure offerings provide telcos with a fast ramp for rolling out 5G service across multiple sites.

With key components of the Open Distributed Infrastructure Management initiative planned for open source release, HPE and key industry leaders are creating an ecosystem that will accelerate technology innovation beyond the telco industry. Telco infrastructure today is unique in terms of its distribution and scale. Deployment of industrial IoT and new levels of automation and distributed data-analysis will over time make the Open Distributed Infrastructure Management initiative relevant for solving similar problems in many other industries and application domains.

As a founding member of the DMTF Redfish open source initiative, HPE is well placed to provide leadership in this space. A recent AvidThink report concluded that there is a need for a standards-based approach to large scale distributed physical infrastructure management. This applies to telco networks, but is also very relevant across many other verticals, including large enterprises with geographically distributed datacenters.

Acquisitions Highlight Industrial News Last Week

Companies were still completing business last week. Many things have slowed down, but some business still needed to be wrapped up. Hitachi Vantara continues to build out DataOps and its data emphasis. Meanwhile, AVEVA continues a trend begun with the thought leaders at Foxboro (then part of Invensys coordinating with Wonderware) of building out a software flow to help leaders manage the production value chain. Integrating software acquisitions is tricky business, but both of these companies seem to have taken a sound approach to bringing things together.

In the news:

• Hitachi Vantara Completes Acquisition of Waterline Data, Introduces Lumada Data Catalog Solution To Solve Modern Data Challenges for Analytics and Governance Across Edge-To-Core-To-Cloud Environments

• AVEVA Acquires Production Accounting Capability from MESEnter to Drive Customers’ Digital Transformation Enhancing AVEVA’s Value Chain Optimization Portfolio

Hitachi Vantara, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, has completed the acquisition of the assets of privately held Waterline Data, a provider of intelligent data cataloging solutions. Hitachi Vantara also introduced Lumada Data Catalog, incorporating Waterline’s data cataloging technology into the Lumada portfolio to solve modern data challenges for analytics and governance across edge-to-core-to-cloud environments.

Lumada Data Catalog expands Hitachi Vantara’s DataOps solutions, and provides customers with a way to unify silos of data distributed across the cloud, data infrastructure, and the machines and devices at the edges of their networks. Waterline’s data cataloging technology gives customers a common metadata framework for managing all their data. By applying DataOps methodologies to the unified datasets, customers can rapidly gain insights and drive innovation.

Waterline Data Founder and Chief Technology Officer Alex Gorelik, now a Hitachi Vantara senior fellow, led the integration of Waterline’s technology into the Lumada portfolio – a data management and innovation platform for all industries.

“The operational, technical and regulatory challenges presented by the proliferation of data makes data catalogs an increasingly vital tool for modern organizations,” said Guido Schroeder, chief technology officer, Digital Solutions, Hitachi Vantara. “Adding Waterline Data’s capabilities to Hitachi Vantara’s suite of DataOps solutions is a great step forward in ensuring our customers can effectively and efficiently manage their data assets across environments – from edge-to-core-to-multicloud.”

Lumada Data Catalog will be available April 1, 2020 from Hitachi Vantara and select partners.

AVEVA has acquired production accounting software from South Korean based company MESEnter to complete AVEVA’s value chain optimization solution.

MESEnter’s software offering, previously branded MES ENTER ErrorSolver and now rebranded AVEVA Production Accounting, has been proven and tested by major producers in the continuous process industries since 2005. It opens the opportunity to improve accuracy of planning models, manage operations performance, identify loss detection and faulty instrumentation and ultimately move operations towards a plant-wide reconciliation.

“AVEVA’s leadership in optimizing across the value chain continues to create new opportunities as part of the digital transformation of refinery, petrochemical and mining operations,” said Harpreet Gulati, Senior Vice President, Planning and Operations at AVEVA. “The addition of this technology also provides another integral piece in AVEVA’s process operations portfolio.”

The newly added software will enable AVEVA to deliver a more robust offer that drives profitability across the value chain for its customers. AVEVA Production Accounting software furthers AVEVA’s commitment towards its Value Chain Optimization strategy to help customers eliminate information silos and integrate critical business processes across their operations.

This is yet another example of AVEVA’s continued focus to bring together a complete portfolio geared towards optimizing its customers’ value chains to help drive their digital transformation strategies. The newly acquired software will enable customers to close the loop with prescriptive performance management of their operations, ensuring that actual performance helps to drive decision-making for future planning.

“AVEVA has been a long-time partner of MESEnter and so this technology acquisition makes absolute sense. It presents a great opportunity for operators to efficiently leverage the value available from production accounting to help with material balance and data reconciliation across the plant”, said WS Cho, CEO of MESEnter.

AVEVA Production Accounting software has a user-friendly interface which provides a graphical flowsheet environment for creating and maintaining the plant balance models. It allows easy navigation from area to area, utilising intuitive screens from managing data connections, reconciliation steps, model configuration and more. It can also be configured to perform reconciliation around smaller areas of the plant such as compressors, pumps, exchangers, tanks or groupings of process equipment.

OTOH Don’t Get Ready to Travel Too Soon

Yesterday’s notice was from an IoT event in Barcelona in October. Maybe the situation in Spain will be better by then. On the other hand, a message just came in from the Deutsche Messe people announcing that Hannover Messe will not be held in 2020. The city of Hannover has ruled that the city will not be ready for the trade show until its next regularly scheduled event in April 2021.

From the press release:

HANNOVER MESSE cannot take place this year due to the increasingly critical situation surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. The Hannover region has issued a decree that prohibits the staging of the world’s leading tradeshow for industrial technology. From now until the next HANNOVER MESSE in April 2021, a digital information and networking offer will provide exhibitors and visitors with the opportunity for economic policy orientation and technological exchange.

The world of industry will not be able to meet in Hannover this year. Comprehensive travel restrictions, bans on group gatherings and a prohibition decree in the Hannover region make it impossible to stage HANNOVER MESSE. At the same time, the corona crisis is affecting the economy, and the manufacturing industry – HANNOVER MESSE’s core clientele – is already struggling with serious consequences of the pandemic. Demand and sales in German industry are declining, resulting in supply bottlenecks, production stops and reduced working hours for employees.

“Given the dynamic development around Covid-19 and the extensive restrictions on public and economic life, HANNOVER MESSE cannot take place this year,” says Dr. Jochen Köckler, Chairman of the Board of Management, Deutsche Messe AG. “Our exhibitors, partners and our entire team did everything they could to make it happen, but today we have to accept that in 2020 it will not be possible to host the world’s most important industrial event.”

It is the first time in HANNOVER MESSE’s 73-year history that the event will not take place. However, the organizers will not let the show completely vanish. “The need for orientation and exchange is particularly important in times of crisis,” says Köckler. “That is why we are currently working intensely on a digital information and networking plattform for HANNOVER MESSE that we will open to our customers shortly.”

Various web-based formats will enable HANNOVER MESSE exhibitors and visitors to exchange information about upcoming economic policy challenges and technological solutions. Live streams will transport interactive expert interviews, panel discussions and best-case presentations all over the world. The online exhibitor and product search is also being enhanced, for example with a function that enables visitors and exhibitors to contact each other directly.

“We firmly believe that nothing can replace direct, person-to-person contact and we are already looking forward to the time after Corona,” says Köckler. “But especially in times of crisis, we must be flexible and act pragmatically. As organizers of the world’s most important industrial trade fair, we want to offer orientation and sustain economic life during the crisis. We are doing that with our new digital offering.”

Thilo Brodtmann, executive director of Germany’s Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), said, “The cancellation of HANNOVER MESSE 2020 is an unfortunate decision, but it is the only correct one. The mechanical engineering industry must now concentrate on minimizing the consequences of the pandemic in its own operations so that it can start up again. In April 2021, the engineers will be back in Hannover in full force.”

Wolfgang Weber, Chairman of the ZVEI Management Board: “The fact that Hannover Messe 2020 cannot be hosted is a bitter loss, but it is the right decision. For the electrical industry, the fair is the showcase to the world, which unfortunately remains closed this year. So our companies will use the time until 2021 to manage the considerable consequences of Corona. Next year, they will then present themselves with the latest products and solutions for Industry 4.0 and the energy system of the future.”

HANNOVER MESSE 2021 will be held from 12 to 16 April 2021.

Getting Ready to Travel?

With all this staying home protocol going on, are you missing the travel scene? Some pundits are doing a linear extrapolation from a limited data set and predicting a “new normal” where all conferences are virtual. Have you heard that before?

October might be a good time for IoT people to consider a trip to Barcelona. This announcement just arrived from The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) concerning a call for papers for IoT Solutions World Congress (IOTSWC), the global reference for industry IoT and the annual meeting for end users to discuss new IoT projects.

In its sixth year, IOTSWC runs from October 27-29, 2020, in Barcelona and is co-located with the AI & Cognitive Systems Forum, the Barcelona Cybersecurity Congress and the Wireless Global Congress. 

“IOTSWC continues to be the place to go to hear from industry IoT users,” said Deloitte Global IoT Lead Helena Lisachuk. “Industry leaders can learn a lot from one another and this year we have shifted our track titles from industries to major solutions and use cases around IoT. This maintains our focus on end-user stories, but will enable IoT leaders across industries to more easily identify where they can best learn from their peers.” 

Last year, a record-breaking 16,000 visitors from 120 countries attended the Congress. The three-day event featured 300 top-level speakers discussing digitalization for businesses across industries. This year, potential speakers are asked to share the essential ingredients necessary to harness the transformative potential of IoT, highlighting use cases or business cases that demonstrate how IoT is: 

  • Reshaping the way enterprises execute business processes

  • Achieving tangible business outcome metrics such as improved efficiency, reliability, asset management, remote monitoring, increased productivity, decreased downtime, increased profits, etc. 

  • Creating new revenue streams

  • Making new business models possible

  • Enabling synergy with other advanced technologies like AI, blockchain, digital twin, robotics and more.

“IOTSWC is an industry-leading technology conference bringing together best-in-class solution providers with real-world users,” said Leila Dillon, VP Marketing & Communications at Ameresco.  “This conference highlights the solutions that are in the global market today, showcases how they are making a measurable difference and gives end-users a blueprint for success in their own implementations. Driven by a relentless focus on customer use cases, IOTSWC is not to be missed.”

“IoTSWC gives me an opportunity to catch up on the global landscape of industry IoT every year. The speakers share their wealth of practical knowledge and are open to professional networking and open dialog about their challenges and successes,” said Shyam V. Nath, Oracle, Director IoT and Cloud. “It always surprises me to see how end-user companies work hand-in-hand with IoT solution providers to tweak solutions for industry-specific problems such as quality control of industrial manufacturing and ensuring adequate food production via smart farming.” 

The Five IOT Solutions World Congress Tracks 

  • Security – Enterprises are in need of security solutions to prevent data breaches into their systems. As more information is available through IoT devices, enterprises need to protect their data network properly. Topics include use cases on solutions such as: Digital Trust through Blockchain, Cybersecurity, Digital Certification, Cloud Data Protection Gateways and Data Encryption.

  • Connectivity – With the global roll-out of 5G, enterprises are in the need of finding connectivity so providers can offer flexible plans for implementing IoT devices. Topics include use cases on solutions such as: 5G, Edge Computing, Autonomous Vehicles, Traffic Management, LPWAN, eSIM vs uSIM and Vehicle Telematics.

  • Business Optimization – IoT enables companies to identify gaps and potential risks thanks to available data in the value chain. Topics include use cases on solutions such as: Digital Twins, Virtual Reality, IoT Cloud Platform, Big Data Analytics, Augmented Reality, Additive Manufacturing – 3D, Remote Operating Center, Smart Metering, Workplace Management, Tracking Assets, Predictive Maintenance, Fleet Management, Inventory Management, Digital Thread and Fog Computing.

  • Intelligence – The combination of IoT and technologies, such as machine learning, provide humans with the tools needed to interpret relevant, but sometimes non-structured data. Topics include use cases on solutions such as: Artificial Intelligence, Collaborative Robots and Deep Learning Platforms.

  • Customer – IoT provides valuable customer data so companies can deliver quality improvement solutions to clients while improving the customer experience. Topic areas include use case presentations that focus on solutions such as: Remote Health Monitoring, MHealth, Tracked Ingestible Sensors and Smart Parking. 

All submissions must be use-case/business-case-focused, with business outcome metrics clearly highlighted. Priority selection is given to use-case oriented submissions that include an end-user speaker. The deadline to submit to the IOTSWC 2020 CFP is April 30, 2020. Click hereto apply.

The conference sessions for IOTSWC are built by a program committee responsible for developing the strategy for the congress, the overall content and bringing together industry leaders. Sessions illustrate how companies are realizing positive business outcomes from implementing IoT and how they collaborated with their solutions teams to make it happen.  The committee is comprised of a cross-section of industry and technology leaders who build the program covering multiple industries, technologies, standards and applications. 

Inductive Automation Expands Again, Buys Land for Two New Buildings

How about some good news? Based on many conversations within the industry, I’ve longed pegged Inductive Automation as a growth company among a field perhaps not so active. Here is more evidence of solid growth for the company—and most likely also for this type of software.

Inductive Automation announced March 17 it has purchased land near its headquarters, with plans to construct two new buildings. The significant expansion comes 2 ½ years after its previous expansion, when the company purchased a building that allows it to grow to 285 employees. With the two new buildings, Inductive Automation will be able to triple its number of employees. The company will continue to use its current building, which is only 350 feet from the new site. Groundbreaking for the first new building is scheduled for September.

Inductive Automation makes industrial automation software that’s used in virtually every industry, in more than 100 countries. The company’s strong revenue growth is driving the need to expand. For the last 10 years, Inductive Automation’s revenues have grown, on average, 55 percent each year.

That phenomenal growth has been due to the popularity of the company’s key product, Ignition by Inductive Automation. Ignition is an industrial application platform with numerous tools for building solutions in human-machine interface (HMI), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Ignition software, along with its unlimited licensing model, is allowing organizations to build the systems they really want.

“We’re very excited to be expanding again,” said Don Pearson, chief strategy officer for Inductive Automation. “Most industrial organizations are trying to pull more data from the plant floor, so they can analyze it and make better business decisions. With Ignition, they can access data, analyze data, and control processes better than ever before. All this leads to a much stronger bottom line. Our customer base is expanding rapidly because we provide the tools that help people do all this in a very cost-efficient manner.”

Rockwell Automation Numbers

I ran into a long-time acquaintance a couple of weeks ago (before the coronavirus impact) who told me he was all-in investing in Rockwell Automation. The stock had been slowly oscillating between the 170s and 210 for some time. He felt it was destined to keep growing beyond 210.

Note: before retirement, he owned a Rockwell distributorship.

That piqued my interest. When I saw the latest analyst briefing, I took a dive. The transformation of the business is almost startling.

Sales by region must be a bit disappointing as former CEO Keith Nosbusch made it a goal to reduce dependence upon North American markets. For the last year, NA sales are almost 60% of total, with EMEA at 19% and Asia only 14%. However, sales were edging close to $7 billion with a target to top $7 billion this FY. That is good growth.

Breaking out sales by type of industry, hybrid is 40%, process 35%, and discrete at 25%. I imagine if I were to ask 100 people in the industry, more than 90 would guess that Rockwell was still a predominantly discrete automation player.

Showing the general state of manufacturing, Rockwell is strongest in Food & Beverage (20% of sales) followed by Oil & Gas (10%) which is approximate equal in share to automotive. I don’t know if that means the large investment that Nosbusch made in process industry acquisitions is paying off, but it apparently is.

Like many colleagues, I was shocked at the huge valuation Rockwell Automation placed on PTC when it invested $1 billion. But when I saw everything ThingWorx (and the rest of the PTC IoT portfolio) could do–meaning the company could stop many development programs saving a ton of cash–Blake Moret’s (current CEO) move looked very smart.

I like to point out to my close Rockwell acquaintances that I had renamed my site “The Manufacturing Connection” before they announced the “Connected Enterprise” strategy, we both agree that “connections” are where the action is.

Since I’m not an investor in individual stocks, I’m not making any recommendations. But I’d have to say that my old acquaintance is looking pretty smart.

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